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Standards loosened by lenders as underbanked are deemed creditworthy

Jul 03, 2012 Sean Albert

With a significant amount of the American population being defined as underbanked, more businesses are creating new methods in order to reach out these consumers and provide them with the financing they need. Even though many of these individuals are financially responsible, it is hard to measure their creditworthiness with a traditional consumer credit report as they often don't possess a credit card. According to a recent report by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, lenders are increasingly loosening their standards when it comes to lending money to consumers. Indirect consumer loans, such as automotive lending, have seen a large increase in the past year, as more companies are realizing the untapped potential of working with the underbanked. In the survey, 35 percent of lenders said they have eased their standards from last year, which represents a 10 percent increase from 2011. Additionally, only 15 percent of lenders said they have tightened their standards, down significantly from 44 percent last year. American Banker writes that lenders are going to have to focus on listening to the borrower's needs and also rely on alternative credit data in order to determine a consumer's creditworthiness as it is becoming a strong method for working with individuals.